I really thought I would hate walking; it’s the last thing an overweight and out of shape guy wants to do. I didn’t even like going downstairs to do laundry because those 13 steps hurt my knees so badly!
Today I feel a bit like a self-taught expert on walking. I know the best trails where I live, tricks for motivating myself and how to keep things interesting.
Here are five tips to keep you walking!
1. Load that Playlist: Everyone has their favorite app for listening to music, so I won’t bother to go there. But if you enjoy listening to news, articles and self-help posts, you may want to check out Umano. Umano lets you enjoy news, podcasts and articles with just a few clicks, and it’s my go-to app when walking. I load it up with my selections prior to a walk and it keeps me occupied as I log those miles. (Umano for Android, Umano for iTunes).
2. Reward Yourself: I keep a bottle of pure aloe in the refrigerator. When I get back from a walk, I squeeze a dollop in my hand and rub it all over my face and arms. It instantly cools the temperature of my skin and feels great. It’s such a small thing really, but on hot summer days there’s not much than can beat it after a long walk.
3. Explore new Trails: Walking in different locations keeps your mind curious and your muscles confused, both good things. If you seek trails and other walk-friendly locales, you’ll eventually have a portfolio of locations to pick from, depending on how you feel, how motivated you are on a given day and what you want to get out of your walk. Knowing the hills and valleys keeps things interesting and challenging.
4. Get a walking Buddy: While I engineered my weight-loss program to be solamente, there’s nothing wrong with having a friend to walk with. Having someone to talk to, the mutual motivation, it can go a long way. This is especially true if you have had a number of false starts with your walking attempts; sometimes all it takes is a neighbor who shares some common exercise goals.
5. Set a Goal: Walking without a goal is just wandering. Knowing in advance how far you intend to walk makes the whole enterprise more meaningful and the sense of accomplishment that much greater. You can set a goal for distance, duration or pace. They all work just fine. You don’t need to push the limit every time you walk; that isn’t the point. You just want to be able to feel a sense of completion when you hit your marker. Any by the way, when you walk with a goal, anything beyond your set point is bonus calories burned, and that’s a psychological tool not to be underestimated.
What keeps you motivated to walk? Let me know in the comments!